Make your way to Edinburgh Castle, an impressive fortress and military stronghold atop Castle Rock. Your ticket grants you access to the castle’s public spaces, including the National War Museum, which documents some 400 years of Scottish military history.
Learn about the bloody battles and sieges fought over Edinburgh Castle, and view Highland swords among a staggering collection of artifacts including the 19th-century Thin Red Line painting by the acclaimed Scottish artist Robert Gibb.
Perhaps explore the prisons that held French and American prisoners during the 14th-century War of Independence, when the castle was recaptured by the Scots from the English. Find the Scottish Crown Jewels on display in the Royal Palace, along with the Stone of Destiny—a weathered rock upon which the early Scottish kings were enthroned. View, too, where Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to her son.
Visit the Great Hall of James IV via Crown Square and don’t miss the stone interior of St Margaret’s Chapel, the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh.
Spend as long as you’d like visiting the castle and grounds during opening hours; most visitors find 2–3 hours to be sufficient. If you want to take a break from sightseeing, visit the Tea Rooms for traditional tea and baked snacks or visit the self-service Redcoat Café to eat and admire the views. All food and drinks are at your own expense.